When it comes to sports, a lot of the time, those with the biggest following and media coverage are those who win the biggest trophies, consistently competing at the highest level. However, there are a group of athletes and competitors who never reach those heights but still manage to leave an indelible mark for themselves and aspiring athletes. One of them is Mary Joe Fernandez, a former American tennis player.
When she was an active professional player, Mary Joe was a talented athlete who drew attention through repeated victories at the junior level and achieved the record of being the youngest player to win a major match in the US Open at the age of fourteen. This and many more other things are all that we are going to tell you about the retired sportswoman.
Mary Joe Fernandez – Biography
She was born on the 19th of August, 1971 in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic to a Spanish father and a Cuban mother. Mary was raised in Miami, Florida where she completed her basic education at Carrolton School of the Sacred Heart. Before she finished high school, Mary Joe Fernandez lit up the world of US tennis when she won four Orange Bowl junior titles in a row, and afterwards, debuted in the US Open at the age of 14, winning her first match at the highest level.
Although she hadn’t become a full tennis professional at the time, it was a significant step in her career and when she turned professional the following year in 1986, she quickly began to rack up some notable victories for herself, winning her first tour doubles in 1989. Four years after Mary Jo Fernandez became a professional tennis player, she won her first singles title at the Tokyo Indoor Championships in 1990 and reached her first Grand Slam singles final in the same year at the Australian Open. She finished the year ranked number four in the world.
Over the next decade, Mary Joe Fernandez never reached the height of her performances in 1990 but she continued to deliver impressive performances, such as winning her first Grand Slam title in the Women’s doubles in 1991 in the Australian Open, repeating the feat in 1996 at the French Open.
At the end of her career, Mary Joe Fernandez had a career record of 437 victories to 203 losses in the singles category, which included 7 WTA titles such as the German Open and the Indian Wells. In the Women’s doubles category, she recorded 17 WTA titles, and 2 ITF titles having played a total of 485 games, winning 344 and losing 141.
Internationally, Mary Joe Fernandez represented the United States at the Olympics twice in 1992 and 1996, winning the gold medal in 1992 in the Women’s doubles and a bronze medal in the Women’s singles. In 1996, she won another gold medal in the Women’s doubles.
Since she retired, Mary Joe Fernandez has worked as a tennis commentator for two US media outlets, CBS Sports and ESPN. Her other responsibilities also include coaching the US Fed Cup team between 2008 and 2016 and the US Olympics team in 2012.
During her professional career, which lasted for fourteen years between 1986 and 2000, Mary Joe Fernandez won $5.2 million in total prize money from winnings in several WTA competitions in the singles and doubles category.
Mary Joe Fernandez has also earned a decent sum as a coach for the US Olympic tennis team and also as a sportscaster for ESPN and CBS Sports, all of which have contributed to a total net worth of $2 million.
Family – Husband and Kids
Mary Joe Fernandez has been married to Anthony Lewisohn Godsick since April 8, 2000, after a couple of years being in a relationship. The couple got married in Miami and have since been blessed with two children, Isabella Maria, and Nicholas Cooper. The family resides in Key Biscayne, Florida while they also have a second home in Cleveland, Ohio.
Her husband, Anthony, is a graduate of Dartmouth College who works as a sports agent under International Management Group.
Other Interesting Facts About Mary Joe Fernandez
- She was found to have failed a drug test during her active tennis years. It was revealed via a publication by Sports Illustrated in 2003.
- In Grand Slam competitions, Mary Joe finished as runners-up three times in the Women’s singles and five times in the Women’s doubles.
- Mary Joe Fernandez stands at a height of 5 feet 9 inches.